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To My Fellow Boomers, It’s Time To Take A Second Look At Gaza

Gaza

By Cm pariharPublished about a month ago 6 min read
Boomers will remember the moment when 4 Student Demonstrators were killed by the Ohio National Guard at Kent State University on May 4, 1970.

I think it’s time to jettison the “Baby” part, don’t you? As we’re preparing to shuffle off this mortal coil, it’s no time to keep saying “baby boomers.” I never like that term, so instead, I address you as just my fellow “boomers.”

Perhaps not the greatest generation, an application that Tom Brokaw gave to our parents, we are still one of the most influential groups of all time. We lived through extraordinary events: the first American in space, commercial jet airliners, transistors, computers, and all the electronic gadgets that fill our homes today.

But perhaps the most welcome was the diminutive television. Often tucked in the corner of our living rooms or bedrooms (or both), TV has welcomed us for most of our lives — a constant companion we have come to know and trust.

When talking to my fellow boomers about current affairs, I often get a TV scripted “sound bite.” It’s a headline that fits in nicely just before an expected 30-second commercial. Our friend, the TV is especially welcome now that our eyesight isn’t what it used to be, and reading can be progressively more difficult. I used to laugh as I walked through my mother’s apartment complex; from each doorway, the television blared, often all tuned to the same channel!

I’m not laughing so much now; I like to tune up the volume (LOL).

But something happening with our young people may take us back to our youth and the promise we knew then. Students around the country are beginning to stand up for the same old values of truth and justice that we once knew.

It’s an especially difficult time of the year for students. Final exams lie directly ahead, and after an especially cold winter, at least here in the Northeast, Spring fever is in full swing. Most students would instead grab their textbooks and head out to the nearest lawn to kick back and put in a few sunny hours of study.

But not the students I’m talking about. The students I’m talking about have put all that aside. They’ve even risked losing their cherished degree, as that’s the threat College Administrators have put on them. As you’ve guessed, the students I’m talking about are the ones who are demonstrating against the events unfolding in Gaza.

What they see happening there has transfixed them and united them in a noble cause.

But before we go there, I implore you to be open to the possibility that these students may comprehend the world from a very different perspective than the TV-tainted world of us in the boomer generation. I don’t mean to be overly personal, but the Lester, Norah, or David that we watch each evening is not telling it straight. Yes, it’s a beautifully packaged, wonderfully presented compact view of the world, but it’s often false. And it’s especially false today.

Let’s begin by agreeing to some basic facts about the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. The first fact is this: the dispute did NOT start on October 7, 2023. There has been an active struggle between these two for as long as most boomers have lived, at least as far back as 1948 and, by most accounts, even before that.

For decades now, the Palestinians have been restricted to a small strip of land bounded on one side by the Mediterranean Sea and on the other by what was considered the most technologically advanced containment system in the world. The Israelis assumed that Hamas could not breach its barrier.

But in a daring raid on October 7 of last year, Hamas rebels did just that. Attacking a concert in progress, they killed 1,400 innocent people. This attack by Hamas rebels killed 1,400 civilians and Israeli Defense Force Soldiers in what is considered the most significant setback for Israel’s military since the 1973 War. There is no getting around the fact that this was reprehensible. It’s the part that everyone agrees upon. Even our friend the TV has portrayed this in its proper light.

From this point on, my fellow boomers and the college students part ways. The sources of information most used by the American population, including boomers, have not shown the devastation that has been meted out in return to the Gazans, either by omission or commission.

It is now clear that the IDF has made no distinction between the innocent Palestinian residents of Gaza and the Hamas Rebels. While it’s true that it would be difficult to distinguish between residents and rebels, Western moral tradition and International Law require that the IDF make every effort. Target identification is critical in any urban warfare, and it’s becoming increasingly apparent that the IDF isn’t even trying.

I wrote a column immediately following the October 7th massacre in which I admonished the Israelis not to overreact. Appealing to their Torah tradition, I cited Exodus 21:23–25. It is the famous eye-for-eye reference for all Jews and Christians alike.

But if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life, (24) eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, (25) burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise.

This commandment was so important that it became foundational for all of Western Civilization. In the ancient world, it was not unusual for a tribe that had a member murdered, for instance, to seek revenge upon the entire family or even the entire community of the offender. Clan revenge could waste whole generations.

It is a time-honored tenet in the Western legal system that only the murderer shall face the ultimate punishment — not their family, relatives, or fellow tribespeople; only one eye for one eye.

Today, the most accepted number of Palestinians dead is 34,000. Central American news outlets like the Wall Street Journal, National Public Radio, and Forbes will attest to this number.

But it’s worse than that, much worse. On January 26, 2024, the International Court of Justice, the only international Court that hears disputes among nations and an affiliate of the United Nations, ruled that there was probable cause to support the allegation that Israel is performing Genocide against the Palestinian people. The Court ordered that Israel must provide “immediate and effective” measures to protect the Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip.

You see, Israel has the power to control life and death in Gaza. The Palestinian people, mainly Muslims along with some Christians and other ethnic groups, are but a few generations removed from the Bedouin sheepherders who used to occupy this area. Poor people have, with the help of outside agencies and charities, built Mosques, Churches, Hospitals, and Universities. Unfortunately, most of these buildings have now been destroyed in this current IDF campaign.

Most of the Palestinians receive aid from international charities and NGOs (non-governmental organizations). No nation provides unlimited support for Gaza, and what aid Gaza does receive must be inspected and transported through Israeli oversight.

Israel, on the other hand, enjoys the complete support of the United States. For years, the US has supplied the most advanced military arms and equipment as well as financial support to Israel. Regrettably, many of America’s most advanced armaments, such as the F16 Fighter Jet, as well as advanced artillery and personal arms, are now being used against the Gazans.

When all these facts were presented to the ICJ, the Court ruled 16 to 0, with one abstention, that the case against Israel could proceed. In the meantime, the Court ordered Israel to make every effort not to harm the Palestinians, something that Israel has steadfastly refused to do.

Shortly, the case against Israel will make its way to the United Nations General Assembly, where an up or down vote will decide if, indeed, Israel is committing Genocide. It is within the UN’s power to send “peacekeeping force

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Cm parihar

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    Cm pariharWritten by Cm parihar

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